My first meeting with Vicky Grubb from The Upholstery Cabin was virtual, when she kindly agreed to appear on an Instagram live with me. I was launching Virtual Vintique: Upholstery Uncovered – my guide to getting into upholstery. It was only later that we actually met in person, which is a rare thing indeed in the upholstery community.
From a self-confessed kitchen table upholsterer to a fully-fledged tutor, author, and hoarder of vintage fabrics, I knew Vicky and I would have a lot to talk about!
Vicky runs her upholstery business and classes from her cladded converted garage – The Upholstery Cabin down by the sea in Bournemouth. As well as regular upholstery classes, she hosts workshops, which have become a bit of a talking point as students who sign up are not only guaranteed great tuition, but also one of Vicky’s amazing home-cooked lunches!
Vicky had already written her first book when we met. The Beginner’s Guide to Upholstery features ten achievable DIY upholstery projects and is a good starter book for upholstery hobbyists. Now she’s taken things a step further with a second book. Teach Me Upholstery has over 50 illustrations – you can ‘flip’ from frame to fully upholstered chair, alongside plenty of tips and tricks throughout the pages.
Focusing on a wing chair, each page adds a new layer to the process in a functional, step-by-step visual guide. It’s handy and practical and aimed at anyone who just wants to have a go at upholstery themselves.
As Vicky explains, “The idea came about one day when I was scrolling the illustrations from my first book on my computer. I must have been looking for something, but as I scrolled down I noticed the images looked like they were adding layers to the chair. It got me thinking about how useful it would be to demonstrate the layers in upholstery in a step-by-step process. Most books show the key parts with descriptions in between, but I thought about using a flip mechanism to show absolutely every level… And so the idea developed.”
Vicky’s books are very easy to navigate and really, really helpful. If you’d never even done a stitch of upholstery before, this makes it simple enough to follow. It’s almost like the book is a hands-on tutorial, plus Vicky has filmed stop motion videos that run alongside.
She’s self-published, which is incredible, but most importantly, she’s championing the trade – doing her best not only to teach it but also to reach a wider audience. Good for her!
“Vicky’s books are very easy to navigate and really, really helpful. If you’d never even done a stitch of upholstery before, this makes it simple enough to follow.”
Vicky plans to release more guides and I imagine they’ll become a bit more complex along the way.
Vicky says, “I see my second book as a catalogue. I initially imagined the concept as a box set of books like the ‘Mr. Men’ series. It’s something that can keep going. I have targeted myself with five books to start with though, and we’ll see where it goes from there. I can see collaborations and some good videos coming out of it.”
Good on her and all power to her for whatever the future holds. I can’t wait to see what’s coming up next!
Keep up-to-date with all things Vintique Upholstery
Vicky’s new book, ‘Teach Me Upholstery’, can be purchased here.
If you’re thinking of learning the craft of upholstery, you can sign up to my total beginner’s guide, Virtual Vintique: Upholstery Uncovered, and take the first step towards seeing if learning upholstery could be for you.
Drop me a line if you have an upholstery project you need help with by filling in the online contact form. You can also email me directly at email@example.com or call me on 07764 182 783.